Our guest post today comes from Stephen Cotterell. Portrait photographer, podcaster and recently a judge in our photo competition. Stephen talks about what inspires him to take photos and why the camera doesn’t matter.
In the Beginning…
Photography has been a powerful influence and interest for as long as I can remember. I loved looking through the piles and piles of snapshots taken by my Mum, and playing with ‘point and shoot’ film cameras as a child.
As a committed amateur I was a keen contributor to many Flickr Groups and still am. I often went on Photo Walks and even led a few. I also launched a Photography Podcast – Photography 121. This has proven to be popular with, now, more than ten thousand downloads a month on iTunes.
I created this because it’s always fascinating to hear how other photographers work, what makes them tick and what makes their work unique. I’ve really enjoyed meeting all the talented people I’ve interviewed for the Podcast.
After many years and varying careers, on 19th January 2012 I woke up and decided to devote the rest of my life to photography – and people. Portraits, in their many forms, are for where it’s at, for me. They combine my 2 passions.
It’s such an honour to be asked to create a photograph that will be treasured. So I do my best to craft great portraits. Images that have the power to move. Images that inspire and create a feeling of warmth. Images that capture someone’s essence.
The camera doesn’t matter
Anyone who knows me will know of my love for “geeky” technology, my camera collection and shelf full of lenses, lights galore and other paraphernalia. But I could own all the camera equipment in the world and still not be a photographer. The difference that makes the difference is in making that connection with my subject and then revealing them in the best possible light.
Anyone who knows me will also know that I’m fascinated by human communication and personal development, and I use these skills in my photo sessions. My aim is to create a total experience for the ‘subject’ so that they have a thoroughly enjoyable, memorable and fun time while we are co-creating great portraits.
My portrait project
The handful of portraits that you see here are just a few from the thousands I shot during the first five months of 2012. 60 of the these have been published in a book (under the working title “People for an Exhibition” – only one precious copy exists!). It’s my dream to exhibit a selection of these portraits in London and elsewhere.
2012 was a busy year for me because, in addition to the portrait project there were photography trips to Australia and Mexico. I spent a lot of time learning new skills and techniques. There were more episodes for my podcast, too. I can’t wait to see how the coming months develop for me professionally – and even more importantly I can’t wait to work with new people and create more stunning portraits.
Stephen also produces the Photography 121 podcast which regularly features tutorials and interviews with professional photographers.
Stephen recently judged our ‘Night Lights’ photo contest – find out more about theprintspace’s monthly photo contests and enter our ’Self Portrait’ themed contest here!